Advice for Tackling Organization Projects

Updated on January 27, 2010
R.A. asks from Fort Worth, TX
6 answers

I have a big mountain in front of me it feels. I want to get my boys' toys organized, and I want to get my own job materials organized (including toys plus lots of book resources). I have their rooms & closets, one additional closet (that I hoped would primarily be mine for the job stuff and scrapbooking/photo storage). I also have the toys in several spots within the home-- a few in the office, a few in their rooms, a few in the living room, and a ton in the den. Where can I start to gain control of all this? I want a pretty-as-a-picture system:)

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Abilene on

A "pretty-as-a-picture" system works great for the second it takes to snap the picture! You don't see the hours it took to get it to that point.

One step at a time. Pick one spot and conquer it -- take before and after pictures so you can see what you can accomplish. Then move on to the next. It is possible to be organized -- but it will take time and the help of your boys, too! Let them help you so they will buy in to keeping their things picked up. Most of all, remember that they are children and will make messes -- just teach them to clean up after themselves.



answers from Phoenix on

The first response is right on...however many times it feels overwhelming and hard to know where to start. In the past I have grabbed an organized friend and had her help for a few hours. Great time to chat and have someone to bounce ideas off.

Or, just take it in tiny bits. Get a kitchen timer and give yourself 20 or 30 minutes and organize a cabinet or shelves. Once you see how fast you can do it when racing the clock you may get motivated for the bigger projects.

Good luck.



answers from Pittsburgh on

The best way to eat an elephant is O. bite at a time! Pick O. project and complete it before you start the next. If you can afford a professional organizer--go for it! This all will take time. We got new toy cabinets for our gameroom and it took me O. 8 hour days to sort, organize & haul all of the toys!


answers from Portland on


I have had that same problem as you. My best advice would be to simplify, simplift, simplify. If sounds as though your kids have a ton toys, I would start by after they are in bed to gather all thier toys in one spot and get rid of anything they do not play wtih. (This could mean giving it to some charity, or boxing it up and puting it in the garage, so you can rotate toys.) Then I would pick thier room and one other room in the house you want them to play. Unless they are to little to play in thier room by themselves they should not need toys in that many rooms. Get plastic containers that have lids and catergorize the toys, (cars, etc...) find a picture of the toy in a magazine and tape it onto the box so your kids can help clean up and know where each toy goes. Then put the boxes on a shelf or in the closet, wherever it is that you choose. As for the scrapbooking supplies, start by going to wal-mart, they have some great scrapbook storage suppies, you can get what will work best for you. Then label the container, so it stays the same, also having a label on it will make you want to put it back where it is supposed to go when you are done with it. Sorry this has been so long! Hope it helps!




answers from Dallas on

What I learned from that I really like was to get 3 boxes (throw away, give away, put away)....start with one spot in a room you choose to begin in, and work clockwise around the room til it's all done. YES working with a timer does help. Otherwise you get distracted, move slow, etc. I try to be like "Ok, I'm gonna do this whole shelf in __ minutes", set the timer, and go to it. When you've got the boxes filled, or the timer goes off, pick them up and empty them. (Put everything away, and if it doesn't have a place yet, put it in the most logical place...put the give away stuff in a box or bag, and take it to your car to donate it next time you drive past a place, and if it's to be thrown away, do so).
I like those shelves with the different bins on them for toys better than son would dig through the toybox looking for something and make a huge mess before he even got to what he wanted to play with. Now with these little bins, he's got a bin for cars/trucks, a bin for action figures, etc. And my personal thing is that I always start in the front of the house and work that guests that come in see the nicer areas first; you have to be a close friend to be in my room and see my "under construction" areas, ya know?



answers from Dallas on

I agree with the idea of picking a room where they can play. In our house in Washington, We had the children sleeping in one room. Then we were able to use the third bedreeom for a playroom. We started with their toys in bins on two 6 foot bookshelves in the playroom. If the toys started to overload the bookshelf I would sort and get rid of toys they no longer played with (outgrew). Eventually, the two bookshelves were moved to the Laundry room, and the children were allowed to get no more than two bins out at a time. Occasionally, they would bring those 2 bins to the living room, but for the most part they played in the toyroom. They were reauired to clean up before getting any more bins out.

Here, we have too many children to put them all in one room and have a toy room. However, we have a huge linen closet. We use half of the shelves for toys, games and puzzles; the other half for linens. We have a cedar trunk/coffee table for blankets. We have a split living room, so the front one is a library/school/toy room. The rule still stands that they are allowed no more than two bins at a time, and they must clean up before changing toy sets. A couple times a year either I or they go through the toys and decide what we can give to other children who have no toys. One of those times is right before or after Christmas. No new toys come out till they have a place to be put away.

I do the same for coloring papers. Each of the older children have their own bin; that is where they can keep their papers. When it is full they must decide what to keep and what they can let go of. For the younger ones and pictures drawn for me, I have a file in my desk. I plan to get a corkboard so that I can hang and rotate the pictures in my file.

For business I have our desk and a two drawer file cabinet. They are in the living room, so that helps motivate to keep them organized, however, on the days when I just can't get to them, my desk closes up to hide the mess. I am a neat (organization) nut, but not everyone in our family is. The desk with a door was a compromise that keeps us both from going crazy. For a smaller house that is full of children, we are able to keep it fairly neat using these methods. Also, we have periodic pick up times during the day. I will tell the children that it is time to pick up excess toys and put them away. You could make this time a game, and offer a reward to the one that picks up and puts away the most toys (in their correct spot).

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions